Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Bill James Projections - Jose Iglesias

2012 projection: 50 games, .241 BA, .277 OBP, .277 SLG, 0 HR, 10 RBI
2012: 25 games, .118 BA, .200 OBP, .191 SLG, 1 HR, 2 RBI
2013 projection: 139 games, .240 BA, .285 OBP, .283 SLG, 2 HR, 32 RBI

There's no sugarcoating the facts anymore: Jose Iglesias' offensive numbers are just as brutal as his defensive highlight reel is breathtaking.  It's never been a secret that Iglesias was coveted for his skills with the leather rather than the lumber, but instead of improvement, last year we saw increased struggle.

With the signing of Stephen Drew, it's safe to assume that Iglesias will not be seeing 139 games at shortstop in the majors. Indeed, perhaps the Drew signing is admission from the front office that Iglesias will be spending some more time robbing base hits in the minors in an effort to bring himself above the Mendoza line, below which he can never be the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

Only an animated GIF can really do Iglesias' defense justice.

If Iglesias can find his stroke to the tune of .240 as James suggests (somewhat optimistically, in my opinion), his defense is sparkling enough that he can finally fulfill his destiny as the "Shortstop of the Future" that we seem to have been hearing about approximately forever.

On a more personal note, the arrival of Iglesias (and other players his age) in the majors is a sort of shock to me. I've been watching baseball for a large portion of my life, and the players have always been older than me. Jose Iglesias is older than me, but only by about two weeks, and it somehow feels very strange to have people in my peergroup taking the field every day - especially since my life is in a constant state of flux.

I love watching Iglesias play defense (even if it makes me feel personally unaccomplished), and I would welcome the chance to watch that every day - if only seeing him stride to the plate didn't make me wince. Hopefully 2013 is his year.

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